DeSantis told a press conference that the day was meant to “honor the more than 100 million people who fell victim to communist regimes around the world.”
“We want to make sure that every year, people in Florida – but especially our students – will learn about the evils of communism, the dictators who led communist regimes, and the hundreds of millions of individuals who have suffered and continue to suffer under the regime bears the weight of this discredited ideology,” he said.
Florida rejects math books with ‘references’ to critical race theory
Beginning in the 2023–24 school year, high school students enrolled in the United States government class required by s. 1003.4282 must receive at least 45 minutes of instruction on “Day of the Victims of Communism” on topics such as Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution, Joseph Stalin and the Soviet System, Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, Vladimir Lenin and the Revolution Russia, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, and Nicolás Maduro and the Chavismo movement, and how the victims suffered under these regimes because of the suppression of speech, poverty, famine, migration and violence systemic lethal.
Some naysayers argue that while the trauma suffered by victims of communism, particularly in Cuba, is real, DeSantis’ motives are not. “He continues to ignite culture wars under the guise of fighting ‘communism’ while embodying the same authoritarian power grabs we know all too well,” a student activist tweeted.
Others say the governor should turn his attention to his state’s issues.
“Why the hell can’t we focus even for a moment on what impacts people on a daily basis? Brandon Wolf, Equality Florida Press Secretary, tweeted.
Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez (R) told reporters Monday that the new law is part of a larger initiative to eliminate critical race theory (CRT) from schools. Critical Race Theory is an academic concept widely taught in law schools that establishes a framework for examining systemic racism.
“Through the actions we are taking today, as well as the actions we have already taken like removing the CRT, ‘waking up’ ideologies from our classrooms, ensuring parents have the right – empowering parents to make decisions for their children – we will always ensure that our students receive the best education,” she said.
DeSantis has worked to restrict class discussions to topics including race, racism, gender and history. Last year, his administration established new rules banning CRT. And, more recently, state education officials eliminated a number of math textbooks from its adoption list, in part because they didn’t align with college content standards. State, called Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking, or BEST, or that they included “prohibited subjects” such as CRT, officials said in a statement.
What is Critical Race Theory and why do Republicans want to ban it from schools?
DeSantis also recently signed into law the “Stop Woke Act” to “give businesses, employees, children and families tools to fight discrimination and reawaken indoctrination,” according to a statement.
The CRT is centered on the idea that racism is not simply individual prejudice, but is systemic, woven into our legal systems – but also intertwined with other intellectual ideas. Conservatives have confused critical race theory with teaching about systemic racism — like when government officials in the 1930s made it hard for black people to get mortgages to buy homes — and all efforts diversity in schools and businesses. They argue that racism in America is the work of individuals and not general laws or policies and have attempted to limit what teachers can say in the classroom about systemic racism in America’s past and present.
Now Tory activists have targeted social-emotional learning programs – aimed at helping students deal with social and emotional issues that can affect their academic performance, saying they are a vehicle for teaching critical theory of race.
Florida reintroduces math textbooks cleaned of ‘woke’ content
In addition to creating “Victims of Communism Day,” DeSantis announced he would set aside $25 million for the renovation and restoration of Miami’s historic Freedom Tower, which once housed the Cuban Assistance Center, helping Cubans to flee communism in the 1960s, according to a statement. from the governor’s office.
“Honoring those who were victims of communist regimes and teaching our students about these atrocities is the best way to ensure that history does not repeat itself,” the governor said in a statement Monday.
Valérie Strauss contributed to this report.